One of the prerequisites to swimming on the final day of the IHSA State Finals is that you have to be able to swim tired. Both OPRF and Fenwick did just that last week to mixed results.
The rivals went head-to-head on Jan. 5, with Fenwick snagging bragging rights in a decisive yet competitive 257.5-200 victory. Benet Academy acted as a buffer, finishing third with 181.5 points.
Luke Baldwin, Richard Butler, Tom Parolin, and John Barrett kicked off Fenwick's victory laps with a first place finish in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:45.59. Mike Brown followed up with a first place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.83. Other top finishes for Fenwick included Baldwin's first place in the 100-yard butterfly in :55.20; Brown's first in the 100-yard freestyle in :50.40; and sophomore Chris Bonk's first in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:18.89.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Butler, Jack Ryden, Patrick Lloyd, and Baldwin took first with a time of 3:28.12.
The Huskies had some success of their own, finishing first in three events. Scott Dunlavey took top honors in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:10.81, and the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.62. Taylor Rasley finished first in the 100-yard backstroke in :58.69. Rasley, Dunlavey, Joe Anderson, and Kevin Williams placed second in the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:46.51.
OPRF head coach Peter Quinn said he's extremely pleased with the progress Dunlavey has made this season.
"Scott trained hard in the off-season and it is paying off. He's been really consistent for us, in practice and in meets," said Quinn, who has had to address personnel issues on his team this season. "You know what you're going to get from him."
The Huskies fell 101-85 to West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe Hinsdale Central on Friday but took first place in six events. Rasley, Dunlavey, Kevin Williams, and Anderson, who also took first in the 50-yard free (:23.50), took first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:45.39. Loren Peterson took first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.71) and the 100-yard freestyle (:51.35). Peterson, Joe Anderson, Williams and Jack Anderson took first in the 200-yard relay with a time of 1:34.18.
Quinn said it's still up in the air right now on how well the Huskies can do once downstate.
"We'll certainly qualify individuals in some events, but our main goal is to move beyond [the preliminaries] at State. We're definitely headed in the right direction. Some days I think yes we can do it, and then there are some days no," said Quinn. "There's a lot of competition over the next few weeks, so we'll just have to wait and see."
Depth seems to be an issue for the Huskies, something that's not a factor for Fenwick. The Friars have a potent mix of seniors and sophomores. On Saturday, the team traveled up to Wisconsin for an 18-team invitational, and showed its deepness. The Friars finished second with 303 points, just 21.5 points off first place Mequon Homestead.
Fenwick's best finish of the invite was second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay where Parolin, Lloyd, Barrett, and Brown finished in 3:16.87.
Baldwin took third in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of :55.38. Baldwin and Parolin, both sophomores, took fifth place in the 200-yard individual medley (2:01.49) and the 100-yard butterfly (:55.52) respectively.
Chris Jones finished third in the diving event with a score of 353.80. Jones took first in the win over OPRF.
Fenwick hosts Brother Rice on Thursday at 5 p.m., before traveling to New Trier for the Trevian relays on Saturday (1:30 p.m.).